Cincom Smalltalk Digest: September Edition
Welcome to the September 2023 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk Digest. In this month’s newsletter, you will find the following:
CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS
- Cincom Smalltalk 9.3.1 Is Now Available!
- The Easiest Way to Submit New Cincom Smalltalk Support Cases
- Cincom SupportWeb®: Unlocking Productivity for Customers and Partners
- Resolutions: Why Do They Matter to You?
BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS
- What Personal Use Opportunity Does Cincom Offer?
- New Hidden Gem: Windows Documents and Printing in Cincom Smalltalk
- Video Series: A Quick Way to Learn Object-Oriented Programming in Smalltalk
- Marking Another Birthday for Smalltalk
- What Useful Resources Can We Help You Find?
CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS
Cincom Smalltalk 9.3.1 Is Now Available!
It is our pleasure to bring you the current version of Cincom Smalltalk. This release includes the releases of Cincom® ObjectStudio® 9.3.1 and Cincom® VisualWorks® 9.3.1.
Cincom is a leading provider of commercial Smalltalk. Cincom Smalltalk adds value and simplicity to application development software, web application development tools and deployment environments. ObjectStudio is an ideal solution for developing custom applications for Windows® while VisualWorks is the ideal solution for enterprise-level, multilingual, cross-platform, custom application development.
ObjectStudio and VisualWorks share the same core libraries and the Cincom Smalltalk Foundation. This means foundation improvements enhance both products. Note that starting with release 9.0, ObjectStudio and VisualWorks now share a release number. Since both products share a foundation of work, this makes it easier for customers and Cincom to discuss, compare and track.
- Order here: As one of our valued Cincom Smalltalk customers or partners, we’re pleased to offer you this opportunity to request the latest release of Cincom Smalltalk through our Product Order Form.
- PLEASE NOTE: Our order process has been updated, and we no longer offer auto-ship.
- Learn more: Please see the product release notes to learn more about these new maintenance releases. The release notes contain descriptions of the ARs and support resolutions that were addressed.
- Ask questions: If we can assist you in any way, please contact us here.
The Easiest Way to Submit New Cincom Smalltalk Support Cases
If you are looking to submit a new case to Cincom Smalltalk Support, this is the easiest way to do it:
- VISIT: Cincom SupportWeb for immediate support
- EMAIL: HelpNA@cincom.com and EuroTSC@cincom.com to file new support cases
Additionally, these links can be helpful with the submission process and finding out more information:
If you have any questions or comments, reach out to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com.
Cincom SupportWeb: Unlocking Productivity for Customers and Partners
We invite you to discover how the Cincom SupportWeb is propelling Cincom customer and partner productivity to new heights. Through a seamless integration of cutting-edge technology and customer-centric strategies, SupportWeb empowers Cincom users to enhance their efficiency and achieve remarkable results.
Here are some ways customers and partners use this valuable tool to be more productive and efficient:
- Easily check the status of cases – Customers and partners can quickly see their open and closed cases, as well as solutions that may already be available to them.
- Create a test case – Allows Cincom Support to better understand a customer or partner’s problem by assisting Support in re-creating the problem in our own environment. These test cases also aid in properly defining the problem, allowing Support to determine if they are on the same page regarding the issue a customer or partner is experiencing. Test cases also allow Cincom Support to test the customer or partner issue when future releases are released to ensure that everything is still working properly.
- Information at your fingertips – Customers and partners will be able to request a monthly technical status report from the main page. Customers and partners can also view special announcements about new services or offerings made available through Cincom Support.
You can reach the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com if you have any further questions.
Resolutions: Why Do They Matter to You?
Technical problems come in all forms. Some are easily re-created in any environment, some are not reproducible outside the production environment and others only occur with a certain operating system or a specific version of other third-party software. The more information you provide to Cincom Smalltalk Support the higher the chances of finding a solution. Support’s primary job is to give you a technical solution that results in the application functioning within the boundaries of Cincom ObjectStudio or Cincom VisualWorks.
Once the solution is found, the Technical Support Engineer creates a “resolution.” A resolution is a technical solution designed to handle a single, specific problem. Resolutions are considered temporary solutions until the product addresses it in a future release. Many resolutions list no prerequisite resolutions because of the nature of the problem being addressed. We provide support for resolutions that are made available to our customers. However, resolutions are to be evaluated by you, our customer or partner, just as if your staff had created them and wanted to apply them to the production environment. We recommend only applying those resolutions that actually solve a problem that you are experiencing. It will underscore the need to make it part of your production efforts. Otherwise, unnecessary resolutions may cause regressions. An example of this is a resolution that is only needed for a Mac environment causing regression in a Windows environment.
All resolutions are submitted for consideration for inclusion into an upcoming release. Some resolutions are included and others are not because the problem is architecturally solved a different way. Other resolutions are too specific to a rare situation and much more time is needed to understand how the product should be adjusted. Yes, there are even resolutions that are unique to a specific application design pattern of a customer and will not be included in a future release.
Want an easy way to learn about available resolutions? Here are two ways:
- Our monthly Cincom Smalltalk Resolutions newsletter is exclusive to current Cincom Smalltalk customers and partners. The email communication lists the latest resolutions available for the most recent Cincom Smalltalk versions, which are currently Cincom ObjectStudio 9.3.1 and Cincom VisualWorks 9.3.1. To be included on this mailing list, visit: https://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/main/users/support/customer-submission-for-cincom-smalltalk-resolutions/
- A second way to list available resolutions is to visit the Resolutions Portal at our website: https://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/ResolutionsApplication/CincomResolutionsPortal.
Remember, a resolution is a technical solution designed to handle a single, specific problem with no implied relationship to other resolutions unless otherwise specifically stated.
If you have further questions, contact us via:
- Cincom SupportWeb for immediate support.
- HelpNA@cincom.com and EuroTSC@cincom.com to file new support cases.
- CSSTARTeam@cincom.com if you need anything else.
BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS
This section is dedicated to Smalltalk beginners, freelancers and developers. Here you can find informative articles and see specific Smalltalk examples for learning new skills or enhancing existing skills using Cincom Smalltalk.
What Personal Use Opportunity Does Cincom Offer?
Cincom Systems, Inc. has been at the forefront of innovative software design, development and products for over 50 years. Over 20 years ago, Cincom brought Smalltalk into our family and has been a reliable and experienced provider for those who are looking for commercial Smalltalk offerings.
With the Cincom Smalltalk Personal Use License (CST PUL) Program, developers receive Cincom Smalltalk, reflecting on the strength of the Cincom brand and the over two decades of being a commercial Smalltalk provider. The CST PUL Program allows the freedom for interested developers to evaluate our products before realizing that Cincom Smalltalk is the right fit for their businesses or project needs.
As with any of the latest releases of Cincom Smalltalk 9.x that customers and partners receive, the CST PUL:
- Gives developers both Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks, simplifying the decision-making and making it easy for interested users to select the right Cincom Smalltalk product for their business needs.
- Allows ObjectStudio users to experience the robust, cross-platform application development environment of VisualWorks.
- Lets VisualWorks users have easy access to the Next Generation User Interface, Modeling and Mapping Tools and Round-trip Engineering capabilities that are exclusive to ObjectStudio.
Watch this video to hear examples of how this trial license has been used by others.
Click here to start exploring Cincom Smalltalk and all that it can do for you.
New Hidden Gem: Windows Documents and Printing in Cincom Smalltalk
This screencast demonstrates a Windows-centric solution for documents and printing. Cincom ObjectStudio is our Windows-integrated solution. Known as the “business analyst’s thinking tool,” and based on the powerful Smalltalk language, ObjectStudio provides a powerhouse development environment, which is necessary to create innovative applications that capture complex business models and processes.
To learn more about Cincom ObjectStudio and all you can do with this powerful solution, click here.
This latest Hidden Gems screencast demonstrates:
- Using the Windows native print dialog
- Using Windows PDF generation
- Constructing documents including:
- Font specification
- Other layout parameters
To watch this new video tutorial, see below or click here.
Video Series: A Quick Way to Learn Object-Oriented Programming in Smalltalk
Recently, our team created a series of videos that formed a quick start guide for learning object-oriented programming in Smalltalk. This video series gives prospective programmers what they need to know to get up and running, create and talk to objects and even build a fun interactive graphic game using the magic of Smalltalk!
Below are links to videos that will give users most of what they need to get their Smalltalk programming journeys started quickly:
- Quick Start Introduction – An overview of the Quick Start course
- Object-Oriented Programming Primer – A quick introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
- Smalltalk Language Primer – A brief introduction to the Smalltalk language, giving you the parts you need to start programming in Smalltalk
- Installing and Running Smalltalk – Installing and starting the product
- Running Smalltalk Expressions – Start the product and get familiar with:
- Running Smalltalk expressions
- Creating “immediate” objects
- Sending messages to objects
- Build the Customer Class/Browser Introduction – Use the Smalltalk Browser to:
- Create a package
- Create the Customer class
- Build class and instance methods
- Create a customer instance and send messages to it
- Use the “interactive coding” feature of Smalltalk
- Build the Fifteen Puzzle Application!
Click on the links above and try it out for yourself, or pass along the information and the link to your colleagues who are looking for a new programming language to add to their developer toolbox.
Marking Another Birthday for Smalltalk
Smalltalk, a programming language that predates popular platforms like Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, Python, Java, and Objective-C, played a pivotal role in revolutionizing personal computing, graphical user interfaces, and programming languages. It was first developed 51 years ago at Xerox PARC in Alan Kay’s Learning Research Group, with the initial goal of aiding children in learning through computer usage.
In honor of Smalltalk’s 50th anniversary last year, the Computer History Museum organized a special event that featured Smalltalk pioneers and 2022 CHM Fellows, Adele Goldberg and Daniel Ingalls. During an engaging discussion moderated by John Markoff, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter, Goldberg and Ingalls delved into Smalltalk’s original educational purpose and its profound impact on object-oriented programming languages, development environments, and software engineering methodologies. Additionally, Alan Kay, the creator of Smalltalk, provided recorded remarks for this momentous occasion.
- You can watch this entire presentation here: https://youtu.be/PaOMiNku1_M
While object-oriented programming has been in existence since the 1970s, it wasn’t until 1997 that Cincom gained full ownership of ObjectStudio. And just two years later, in 1999, Cincom also acquired VisualWorks. These acquisitions played a crucial role in shaping the Cincom Smalltalk we know today. If you’re interested in learning more about the early years of Smalltalk, the fascinating story behind ObjectStudio, and the history of Smalltalk’s journey to Cincom, you can find all the details right here:
- The Early Years of Smalltalk
- The Dramatic Birth of ObjectStudio
- The Cincom Years with Smalltalk
- The Final Installment
Suzanne Fortman, the Cincom Smalltalk Program Director, Support and Engineering Manager, shared some thoughts about the 20th Anniversary of Cincom Smalltalk and talked about the day when Tom Nies added Smalltalk to the “table” with the other successful products at Cincom.
- You can watch that video here: https://youtu.be/X37IpKrbKaA
What Useful Resources Can We Help You Find?
We have our customer, partner and user resources and programs and product information listed here:
- Customer Support
- Cincom SupportWeb
- Cincom Smalltalk Resolutions Portal
- Cincom Smalltalk Resolutions Newsletter
- Customer Product Request Form
- Cincom Discovery Zone for Customer and Partner Services
- Cincom Smalltalk Program (Customer, Partner and Developer)
- Cincom Smalltalk Product Management Mini Surveys
- Customer Education Services
- Contributed Components
- Cincom Smalltalk Store Repository
- Cincom Smalltalk Contributed Application Form
- Reserved NameSpaces
- Email the Cincom Smalltalk Product Teamto send comments or suggestions to our team (prospects)
- Contact Suzanne Fortmanfor business or engineering questions about Cincom Smalltalk (prospects)
- Contact Arden Thomas for questions about the Cincom Smalltalk Product Roadmap (prospects)
- Contact Jeremy Jordan to share a story regarding how you use Cincom Smalltalk (prospects)
- Product Tutorials
- Hidden Gems Screencasts
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Cincom Smalltalk Twitter
- Cincom Smalltalk Facebook
- Cincom Smalltalk YouTube
- Cincom Smalltalk LinkedIn
Reach out to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com if you have any further questions or comments.